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Leisure: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 11th May 2020.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his oral contribution of 17 March 2020, Official Report, column 964, what steps he has taken to ensure that event hire companies receive the full package of financial support under covid-19 emergency measures.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. Where they have business premises, event hire companies may benefit from either of the grants schemes announced on 17 March:

  • The Small Business Grant Fund, which provides eligible businesses with a £10,000 grant per property, for each property in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR).
  • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, which provides eligible businesses with a £10,000 grant per property, for each property used for these purposes with a rateable value of £15,000 or less and which is not in receipt of SBRR or RRR. Businesses are also eligible for a £25,000 grant per property, for each property used for these purposes with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

In addition to these grants, small businesses, including those in the event hire industry, may be able to benefit from the new Discretionary Grant Fund announced by the Government on 1 May. Government has provided up to an additional £617m for Local Authorities in England to enable them to make grants payments to businesses which are facing high fixed property-related costs, but have been excluded from the existing grants schemes because of the way they are treated by the business rates system. Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for these funds, and businesses will need to apply to their Local Authority in order to receive grants. Businesses which think they may be eligible for a discretionary grant should contact their Local Authority.

Businesses not eligible for these grant schemes have access to other support measures the Government has introduced, including:

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for SMEs
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

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